Breakfast with ICT Employers: What do they want to see in our graduates?

Hamilton, M., Carbone, A., Gonsalvez, C. and Jollands, M.

    In an increasingly globalised and competitive economy, there is a need to ensure that graduates have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to be not only work ready for today but work ready PLUS for tomorrow. Data from the Graduate Destination Survey (2012) show that 75% of ICT students get a job once they complete their degree. Although employment outcomes are influenced by external market conditions, students, employers and other stakeholders expect universities to help students maximise their potential to find suitable work, that is, maximise their employability. Employability is achieved by developing students’ technical and generic skills. The development of technical skills is difficult in the computing sector where it has been argued that the ICT fundamentals have changed so much and continue to change rapidly. This project aims to understand what employability skills ICT employers expect to see in our graduates. Data for this study was collected from ICT employers, invited to participate in an industry breakfast to discuss the employability skills they are looking for when employing graduates. A qualitative thematic analysis has been used to analyse the data, and the findings suggest that employers want ICT graduates to have effective teamwork and communication skills, with flexible and adaptive attitudes, without being arrogant. This study is part of a larger nationally funded project by the Australian Government Department of Education, aimed at developing employability skills in disciplines with low employment outcomes.
Cite as: Hamilton, M., Carbone, A., Gonsalvez, C. and Jollands, M. (2015). Breakfast with ICT Employers: What do they want to see in our graduates?. In Proc. 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015) Sydney, Australia. CRPIT, 160. D'Souza, D and Falkner, K. Eds., ACS. 29-36
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